So having decided to move away from Arch Linux it was time to choose another distribution.

The first observation though is just the richness of the current Linux Desktops, remembering the horrors of trying to get Fedora Core 1 to install and the nightmare of the first Ubuntu installation I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth the process has become.

Firstly Fedora, Ubuntu and Mint all come with live CD installers meaning you can actually boot the install from the disk and have a play with the software before committing to installing it.

So I started with Mint, a friend Alex Mclean, had recommend Cinnamon Mint version and I knew the inclusion of the non-free bits (MP3 and Flash would be something less to worry about). It booted and installed fine but I had concerns about being so far downstream Debian -> Ubuntu -> Mint and the inevitable package lag that that can cause. (I maybe should have considered the Debian Mint Edition but I didn’t.)

Having decided against Mint my intention was to go with Ubuntu. Firstly I think Gnome3 looks ok and the Unity things is kind of neat but having said that I was immediately going to install i3. The Ubuntu install worked fine however the update process failed after being left running overnight. Now in defence later inspection would show that a Dropbox install had crashed the whole thing but the software update stuff had just crashed and was offering no advice and in fact was jammed broken, forcing me to flush apt. This was not the low hassle support world I wanted.

Having been disappointed my Ubuntu and realising that the Dropbox fault would likely effect Mint as well I had into the more familiar territory of Redhat and fedora Core 17 XFCE spin. I choose the XFCE spin as I had a lean setup from my Arch install which I would be able to reuse and I kind of like it, fast, simple and gets out of the way.

Fedora 17 installed, updated and i3 installed alongside as well.

Dropbox crashed again through installation but did not crash yum and I was able to manually complete the install.

So I am now on Fedora 17 XFCE spin after having had an enjoyable day playing with distributions and every install offered me working WIFI, function keys, bluetooth and 3D graphics!


So since getting my Samsung Nc110 netbook I have been running Arch Linux on it.

Arch has been a lot of fun, building the entire system from scratch and delivered me a highly customised Linux install with loads of battery life and bleeding edge application versions.

However it has had its problems.

Python3 as the default has been problematic I really wish that we could call python2 python and call python3 python3.

Also being at the bleeding edge has its dangers like the time that an update broke my external video out.

However the main issue has just been the amount of time required to support things. Every so often a pacman update would require substantial work to get it sorted, always well documented but just time consuming.

So while running Arch has been fun it is becoming impractical as my netbook is increasingly my main computer so I need something more stable to use instead.

So I am going to use this opportunity to have a look at different Linux distributions.

So with a bit of luck this blog post should appear inside Facebook as well as on my personal blog at .

Like many I was very annoyed when Facebook killed its rss import but this Facebook app functionality is far more considered and developed.

Of course some of you may consider this noise so my apologies.

I suspect that the launch of the WordPress / Facebook plugin is coinciding with Google I/O where I suspect we will see G+ API’s announced.

After having switched to Emacs and eventually allowing OrgMode to take over my organisation it only made sense to explore what other things I could do with Emacs.

So one idea I decided to explore was using OrgMode to update my various WordPress blogs that I keep or maintain on behalf of

Using org2blog found online on github at and the xmlrpc interface built within WordPress; it turns out to be easy to do and very powerful.

I am hopeful it will allow me to sustain my blogging more but will have to see as the javascript add to WordPress toolbar button is very effective in terms of starting blog posts though I find the web interface to messy to work with.

Today while recording a WWDC Special episode for TheAudioPodcast I forgot to turn on my recorder so I had to extract the audio from the youtube video. ffmpeg makes it really easy,

ffmpeg -i movie-source-file.mp4 audio-target-file.mp3